With the mission to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit, the Abbe Museum is a decolonizing museum (https://www.abbemuseum.org/), offering changing exhibitions and a programming schedule for all ages, welcoming 30,000 visitors each year on Mount Desert Island, Maine, home of Acadia National Park. The museum maintains a collaborative partnership with Wabanaki people that emphasizes Wabanaki self-determination. The museum also has a long history of partnership with the Park; our Sieur de Monts site is the only remaining trailside museum in the National Park system.
The Abbe is an active member of the International Coalition for the Sites of Conscience and in 2013, the Abbe became the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Maine. Annually, we hire over 30 Native artists and demonstrators to lead programs for schools and public audiences, serve on advisory committees and as content specialists, and we represent over 80 Native artists in our shops, making us an economic engine for tribal communities.
The Abbe Museum has the organizational mandate to decolonize its relationships and practices. We are the among the first non-tribal museums to make this commitment. Through collaborative practice that includes foregrounding Native/Indigenous/First Nations voices and perspectives, respecting the collections and telling the multiple stories of more than 10,000 years of history, and maintaining our commitment to social justice and equity, the Abbe Museum is breaking ground in 21st-century museum practice. We seek actively to promote inclusion and power-sharing in service to and in partnership with Wabanaki and other Native/Indigenous/First Nations communities. The Executive Director and Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations will coordinate this work on behalf of the Abbe Museum and in collaboration with the Wabanaki peoples.